According to Spanish Publication Sport, Arsenal are competing with Manchester City to sign Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo this summer. The 23-year-old has been in great form this season, scoring three times and producing seven assists in his 42 appearances for the Eagles this season. His form over the last few seasons has attracted interest from a number of Europe’s top clubs.
Grimaldo has a good pedigree
Grimaldo is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and was just 15 when he made his debut for the Catalan giants B team back in 2011. Despite being highly-rated, Grimaldo struggled to get into Barcelona’s first team. In fact, he never made a senior La Liga appearance for Barcelona, as he was competing with Spanish full-back mainstay Jordi Alba for a starting spot at the Catalan club.
Benfica got a bargain when in December 2015 the Portuguese club agreed to sign the Spanish star for just £1.5million. The low fee was due to the fact that the youngster’s contract was about to expire. Barcelona will receive a percentage of any sale.
Competition needed at left-back at both clubs
Arsenal and Manchester City have both got established first choice left-backs/wing-backs at their club. The Citizens have highly-rated French star Benjamin Mendy, while Sead Kolasinac has made the position his own at Arsenal.
However, there are doubts over both players for various reasons. Both players are considered better at going forward and defensively vulnerable, especially Kolasinac. Mendy has also been highly injury-prone during his time in Manchester, having missed the last few months due to injury. The two teams need competition at left-back.
City do not have another specialist left-back at the club, although the likes of Fabian Delph and Danilo have filled in the position. Arsenal’s other option is veteran star Nacho Monreal, whose contract expires this summer.
Arsenal’s plans will depend on Champions League qualification
The Gunners transfer plans will no doubt depend on whether they qualify for the Champions League this season. Unai Emery’s team are currently odds of 8/11 to finish in the Premier League’s top four this season.
The team from north London have given themselves a good chance to make Europe’s elite competition. If they do then Emery should have more money in his transfer kitty to strengthen his squad. Alex Grimaldo would certainly add something to the Gunners squad, which is in major need of defensive reinforcements this summer.
Will Arsenal make a summer move for Alex Grimaldo?